• Chimney Rock was an important emigrant landmark in western Nebraska

    California

    National Historic Trail CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY

Devil's Gate

Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater River in Wyoming.

The Wagner Perspective

Devil's Gate - Natrona County, Wyoming

Devil's Gate is a narrow cleft carved by the Sweetwater River through a ridge called the Sweetwater Rocks-370 feet deep, 1,500 feet long, and only 50 feet wide in places.

Devil's Gate is among the more interesting geographical landmarks along the emigrant trails. This natural feature became visible approximately 15 miles to the east. The gorge was impassable to wagons, and the trail passed to the south of the ridge, but this dark, gloomy canyon intrigued the emigrants. Many camped here, and almost all took the detour to inspect the gorge.

Osborne Cross recorded his delight on July 10, 1949. "This gap is truly wonderful, being a space not over twenty yards wide and about five hundred feet high, having very much the appearance of being chiseled out by the hand of man rather then the work of nature." More than 20 graves are thought to be located in the immediate vicinity, although only one is marked, and many emigrant inscriptions can still be found on the rock walls of the gorge.
 
Map location for Devil's Gate in Wyoming.
Map location for Devil's Gate in Wyoming.
NPS Image

Did You Know?

Photo image of a painting by William Henry Jackson called Crossing the Missouri.

William Henry Jackson painted this scene of emigrants crossing the Missouri River from Independence, MO. Each Spring hundreds and thousands of emigrant wagons lined up for days waiting their turn to cross over into what was wilderness in the mid-1800s on their way to a new beginning. More...